Mad Like Alyce

Giving up on the idea of “Career”

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what I really want out of life. I’ve been in my career for 6 years, and I was already burning out. When a friend of mine quit her job in September to take a 6 month break for herself to figure out where she wanted to go in life… I was sick with jealousy. I had been tired and frustrated. I felt out of control and trapped; spinning my wheels and running in place at the same time.  I’m going to be working for the rest of my life, and I was already exhausted.

These past few months have really helped me start to identify what I really want out of life. Meaning… I have no idea what I want. I’d worked so hard to build this elusive idea of a “career”.  I see it everywhere around me. People killing themselves to build up a career. But no matter what we do, how hard we push ourselves, a career should happen naturally… a series of jobs within an industry. You can have a “career” as a server.

So… what does make me happy?

Yet, even though my resume looks great, I wasn’t happy. Thinking back to the times I was happiest in life, I realized that the jobs I loved were ones that:

  1. Made me feel valued
  2. Where I was helping people
  3. Had great work life balance
  4. I wasn’t making as much money

The last one threw me for a bit of a loop, but it was true. The jobs where I have made more money were always higher stress positions, or for people paying more money because they had greater demands on my time. With my last position, I learned that there are some jobs where I simply wouldn’t keep it if I was making $1,000,000. For the longest time, I thought that making a healthy salary equated success… but I have even had my views on a  “healthy” salary challenged. Living on a lot less makes you think a lot harder about what you really need to be happy.

More than that, however, I realized a key difference between the jobs where I was stressed and unhappy and those where I was happy is that I was happiest when I worked at jobs simply because I enjoyed them. I wasn’t thinking about how much I made, or how it fit into my career path, or how it looked on my resume. I thought about how I loved who I worked with, loved what I was doing. And on the days I didn’t, I clocked out, went home, and went on with my life. I wasn’t worrying about how losing one job could irreparably damage my career or become a black mark to my resume. I wasn’t worried about losing health insurance. I was learning, and living and loving life. It was a job, not a career. I was driven, had pride in my work, and enjoyed my life a hell of a lot more.

Separating myself from my “Career”

The fact is, if money was no object I would continue learning. I would change jobs when things weren’t working for me. I wouldn’t be afraid of losing a job because I knew that I would just move to the next one… the next thing. Something that would make ME happy. I have realized that the term “job” has somehow (at least in my mind) been turned into a bad thing. A job somehow became the lack of a career. But the truth is that a job is for the employee… and the career is for the employer. I’m done subscribing to the idea of the career. I’m subscribing to the idea that I can get a great job, and be a great employee. The career will just happen naturally as the progression of jobs happens.

If I won the lottery, I would continue my education and would take jobs to enjoy myself, where I felt I could make a difference. The odds are that I will never win the lottery, but living to make myself happy… that is absolutely something I can do.

A light in the darkness

As soon as I made this revelation I felt more free than I had in years. I am watching friends and family around me killing themselves for jobs, making themselves miserable trying to get ahead in a “career”. We don’t get this time back. Not a second of it. I, for one, am done wasting it on anything else than being my best self. Both at work, and in life.


Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!


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  • Got to work with my sister on a test makeup for her Halloween costume and we both did Shego makeup together! I know she has black hair, but my only black wig just wasn’t working. She did fantastic for her first time! #shego #kimpossible #sistermakeup
  • When you are so busy with #hauntlife you forget you have Instagram. I’m pulling together a video shoot for our haunt trailer video and an #sfxmakeup internship for aspiring artists. I sleep too, sometimes.
  • William Faulkner said to “it’s hard to kill your darlings” meaning it can be difficult to critique your own work, especially if you put a lot into it. Stephen King went on to say you should put your work away for six months to a year before editing so you can clearly evaluate. I’m really glad I looked back at this one. Even without the wig, I think it’s striking. #hauntmua #sfxmua #stevenkingismyhero #skullmakeup
  • I’m going through old pictures and ran across this one. I remember not really being happy with this look, and sure, the lines could have been cleaner, but I still really like this! I think we should always go back and look at work a year later... even if it really want good, it shows us just how far we have come in so little time. #skullmakeup #hauntmua #sfxmua #personalgrowth
  • I often do a look that I’m just not all that happy with afterwards, as is with this “halfway to Halloween” clown I created back in.... May? Looking at it now, I don’t know what it is exactly it was that I didn’t like... maybe I just needed a orange wig? I almost like a progress pic more than the finished product. What do you think?#clowns #clownmakeup
  • Throwback to my first actual clown makeup! The eye shapes were inspired by a few looks by @totalnightmaretravis, and i was incredibly excited about this wig! The Rhapsody Short by @rockstarwigs is probably the most fun wig to wear that I currently own. I only have red, but am heavily considering another color for my collection.
Happy National Clown Week! #justclowningaround #clowns #scaryclowns
  • Happy National Clown Week! A year ago, I wasn’t a big fan of clowns, but I practiced so many clown makeups that I eventually came to find them to be one of my favorites, and even created my own clown character. This is the first actual clown makeup I recreated based on @grave_digger_the_clown for last year’s haunt. Turned out a lot prettier than he is, no? 😉
#clownsofinstagram #hauntmua #clownmakeup #clowns
  • One last look at this (insightful? Revealing?) makeup! I actually really loved the eyes by themselves, and they took a good 2 hours themselves. A good challenge in trying to make a flat art of round objects translated on a curved surface! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #eyes #makeupartist #inspiredbyart
Facepaint is a recreation of art by @xsullo


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